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One of my very favourite quotes in Lena Dunham’s girls is when Hannah explains why she’s short on time: “I have work, then a dinner thing, then I am busy trying to become who I am”
Because that is how I have felt, ever since I split up with the person I thought was the love of my life 3 years ago. I am busy trying to become who I am.
You see, I used to think personal development was a finite thing. You learned about the world, from University and your parents, and then you got to an age – 25? 30? – and you sort of just BECAME who you were supposed to be. I considered in my case it would possibly be prompted by a life event. Get married: BOSH! You’re the person you’re supposed to be. Have a baby: BOOM! Your personal development is complete. Achieve your career goals: KAZAM! Jobs a good’un.
And so I waited. Waited and waited and waited to become who I am. Anticipating my own becoming. Expecting a nod from the universe at any time that would signify that I’d made it, I’d qualified as a proper, real-life human being.
It took divorce, heartbreak and beginning my new life as a single mum before I realised that this process, it doesn’t end. You are becoming who you are every single day and you continue to do that for as long as you live. You might go off track sometimes, do a few things that aren’t in the spirit of the person you want to be, but by and large you are constantly moving, constantly learning and evolving into YOU. Your becoming doesn’t end, it continues.
The move towards the becoming doesn’t stop. When I look at where I was three years ago and at the person I am now I’m proud. I’ve come so far, turned my life on its head, made huge leaps towards the person I am. But I’m excited to keep going, keep trucking, keep becoming.
Now, if you’re anything like me you’ll be your own worst critic and come down hard on yourself each and every day for things you haven’t done, emails you didn’t send, love you didn’t give. But by and large we all fly – we should step back and subjectively say, look at me now. Look at what I’ve done. I really am becoming.
And I thoroughly believe that most people of my age really should do this. Consider it: what did the last three years bring for you? A new career? A relationship breakdown? A new baby? Take five minutes to think of the person you were three years ago and feel proud of how far you’ve come.
This is what my friend Laura Jane Williams’s book is all about. Titled ‘Becoming’, it’s a memoir about heartbreak and learning to like yourself – something Laura and I have in common in recent years. It’s a raw, powerful and extremely personal encounter of the steps we take in our becomings, based on Laura’s incredibly honest tales of her own journey. You can pre-order the book now (I have! You should!).
To celebrate the launch of the book on 2nd June, Laura has discussed individual becomings with a cast of women, and I was absolutely thrilled to be one of them. We chatted divorce, re-starting your life brokenhearted, strength and single parenting: and I loved every minute.
This interview was the most emotive I’ve ever done – another point in my journey where I clocked myself and thought, yeah you’ve done OK, kid. Have a listen below or over on Laura’s blog, and check out the other inspirational women Laura has interviewed for the Becoming Podcast.
Thank-you Laura, for helping me see how wonderful my own becoming journey has been.